The Educational Theatre Foundation, the fundraising arm of the Educational Theatre Association, has revealed the five high schools selected for the 2023-24 Pathway grant program, an initiative fostering racial equity through school theatre.
ETF continues to champion diversity and inclusion in the arts by providing $10,000 grants to support productions encouraging dialogue around racial equity. The selected schools for the upcoming academic year include Alisal High School in Salinas, California, presenting La Cortina de la Lechuga; Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts in Miami, Florida, presenting School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play; Detroit School of Arts in Detroit, Michigan, presenting The Wiz; Eastmoor Academy High School in Columbus, Ohio, presenting The Wiz; and KIPP DC College Preparatory in Washington, D.C., presenting Chicago: Teen Edition.
Inspired by late producer Craig Zadan, the Pathway program aims to create opportunities for students in communities of color to work with industry professionals while performing works that address issues of diversity and racial equity. Each school will hire at least two professionals of color, who will serve as mentors to students during their productions.
“The Pathway program is a catalyst for change, providing students with a platform to explore and express their unique voices,” stated ETF President and Educational Theatre Association Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Katona. “By supporting these schools, we continue to elevate stories that reflect the rich diversity of our nation and foster inclusive dialogue.”
“We want our students to feel like their interest in theatre does not make them an oddity,” said Elena Muzzi, Theater Director at KIPP DC College Preparatory, in the school’s application. “We hope by working closely with actors and behind-the-scenes technicians that look like them, it will help our students see aspirations to pursue a career in musical theatre as valid and attainable.”
“On behalf of our authors and their estates for The Wiz and Chicago: Teen Edition, we are thrilled to once again be able to donate the rights for these three schools to perform their selected shows,” added Abbie Van Nostrand, Concord Theatricals’ senior vice president of Client Relations and Community Engagement. “It’s an honor to continue to sponsor the Pathway program and support these young theatre makers.”
Pathway is part of ETF’s broader mission to make quality theatre education accessible to all students. Funding for the Pathway grants is made possible by the Eleanora C.U. Alms Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, Ohio Arts Council, Disney Live Entertainment, Concord Theatricals, Broadway Licensing Global, and numerous private donors honoring the late Zadan.
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